May 18, 2006
Whereas the Rabbinical Council of America recognizes that the Torah commands us “to work and to guard” the earth (Bereishit 2:15), and places humanity, as the pinnacle of creation, in the role of responsible stewardship toward it; and
Whereas the RCA recognizes that the Shulchan Arukh says that it is forbidden, according to the law of the Torah, to inflict pain upon any living creature, even if it is ownerless or belongs to a non-Jew (Cf. Ramo, Shulchan Arukh, Choshen Mishpat, 272:9), and
Whereas the RCA heeds the call of the Midrash, “Pay attention not to ruin and destroy My world, for if you do, there will be no one to fix it after you” (Kohelet Rabbah 7:28); and,
Whereas the RCA recognizes that over the past decades, humans have changed ecosystems rapidly and extensively, resulting in a substantial and largely irreversible loss in the diversity of life on Earth, and causing problems that, unless addressed, will substantially diminish the available resources for future generations,
Now, therefore, it is
Resolved that the RCA encourages its members to educate themselves and their constituents both scientifically and halakhically on issues connected to the environment and its protection.
Resolved that the RCA encourages its members to teach that the preservation of the environment is an issue of importance in the eyes of the Torah and the Rabbis.
Resolved that the RCA encourages its members to seriously consider products, practices and programming that will promote ecological awareness and help to protect our environment.